I have a long, embarrassing history with celebrities. It first started when I accidentally jostled Mick Foley's fake teeth out of his mouth during a signing event circa 1999, and it has plagued me up through last month at SXSW when I ran into Action Bronson on the street and proceeded to tell him, "Yo man you're awesome and drunk as shit." Spoiler Alert: He is awesome, but it was I who was drunk as shit. It's not that I get nervous or anything. I don't get giddy like a schoolgirl and lose my mind; I just have a knack for creating awkward moments. One of my most glorious moments was the time I touched Little Richard's butt in the Detroit airport.
I was returning from a school-related trip to Italy my high school sophomore year (2002) and half of our group was on a flight that had a three-hour layover in Detroit. After about 30 minutes of piddling around at our gate, my buddy and I decided to see what the airport had to offer two adolescents with an excess of downtime on their hands.
"Ahhh, what a nice Borders," I remembered thinking. Then it happened.
A flamboyantly dressed effeminate man was being pushed in a wheelchair by an airport employee towards us. We split to make room for this VIP to get by.
"Oh, my, thank you so much for doing this. I appreciate it greatly," the familiar stranger said as he wheeled by us.
Ten paces later we stopped and looked at each other. "Was that Little Richard?" we ejaculated simultaneously.
We casually turned around and slowly followed him. He was dropped off at a terminal where no one else but his eight-person entourage was. Little Richard stood up from the wheelchair and very capably walked around. We rushed back to our group in near incredulity to inform them of our DaVinci Code-esque discovery and formulate our next move.
Our entire group decided on mobbing over to Little Richard and requesting a picture because why not? We had another two hours to kill. His handlers firmly instructed us to "put those video cameras away" as we approached Diminutive Rick. They continued their Gestapo rule by telling us that no cameras can be used in Little Richard's presence without his "blessing." I remember that word because it's a weird thing to say in 2002, and it's a weird thing to type in 2013, but Little Richard apparently has to give his blessings on things before they are allowed. His handlers informed us that if we wanted a picture with Little Richard we would be granted one attempt with one camera. We chose the best camera we had, which at the time was a like a whopping 1.5 million (no Papoose) pixels. Our teen bodies piled around Little Richard knowing we had one shot at this. I circled around the back to get as close to the mythical creature known as Little Richard as possible.
I put my hand on the small of his back as I leaned in to stabilize and... well... my open-hand palm landed right onto Little Richard's buttocks. There was no cuppage. There was no caressing. It didn't last long because my mind instantly made the connection of "Yo, I just put my hand onto something curvy and supple, and unless Rick has a herniated disc in his back this is most definitely his tushie."
Little Richard is not actually little; he's fairly average sized at 5'10" tall. It is due to this false advertising and deceit that this whole fiasco occurred because I was expecting his back to be much lower than it actually is.
I quickly moved my hand up to his left shoulder as we took our one alotted photo. Afterwards, Little Richard asked me if I did that on purpose. His handlers crept closer to inquire what Little Richard was flustered about. I swore up and down I didn't mean to do "it." His handlers asked what I had done.
"He grazed my derriere" is the sentence that Little Richard spoke out of his mouth. This is the greatest sentence that has ever been uttered in the history of human speech. Tiny Dick's goons became agitated at this new information. They interrogated me harshly, asking if I was trying to be a funny guy, and what I was trying to do. Our group chaperones attempted to intervene and diffuse the situation. Eventually, all was forgiven (but certainly not forgotten).
I still have dreams about it. Little Richard's dark sunglasses. His red suit. The way his supple buttocks was firm but still had a little jiggle to it. I wish I wasn't stricken with this PTSD but such is life. I've decided to share my story with you because I don't want anyone to have to go through what I did. I'm willing to bet there are more awkward celebrity interactions than normal ones. What causes this propensity for calamity? Is this why celebrities are all so jaded from fame? Because literally every plebeian interaction is awkward? Have any of you had awkward celebrity run-ins? Lastly, Richard, if you are reading this, I am sorry. WOP BOPA LOO MOP ALOP BAM BOM forever.
Bauce Sauce stays touching butts. He is on twitter - @BauceSauce